ORLANDO, Fla. — Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen 2012 Jessica Richards was awarded the preliminary evening gown/on stage question award at the Linda Chapin Theater in the Orange County Convention Center during the first night of competition for the Miss America's Outstanding Teen title.

Richards will be a senior at Alta High and was the reigning Miss Draper Outstanding Teen in 2011. She competed in the Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen pageant last October against 23 other contestants from around the state for the crown. Richards performed a Jon Schmidt piano piece for her talent, and has spent the last year promoting her platform, "The Cool Click" Teen Seatbelt Safety Campaign.

As a member of the Red Group, Richards competed in the evening gown portion of the competition on Tuesday night, and will compete in sportswear on Wednesday, followed by talent on Thursday. To view the groupings please go to www.maoteen.org. The next Miss America's Outstanding Teen will be announced on Saturday, August 18, 2012.

For more information on the national pageant, visit Miss America's Outstanding Teen Organization online. For information on the Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen pageant, visit http://www.missuoteen.com/. Registration for the Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen pageant is due by Saturday, August 25th.